Change is hard. We all sort of know this, maybe just as something that gets said in certain contexts. There are obvious things like changing home or job, but today I’m thinking about subtler things, like changes in social rules.

Governments promote change that’s good for the community (hopefully), but that sometimes is bad for subsets of the people, or for certain individuals. These are the sort of trade-offs that are easily enforced in the framework of national states by simple means such as police forces and, in general, a legal ecosystem.

But then there are those changes, apparently easy to implement and abide by, that are promoted in smaller formal/social contexts such as companies and workplaces. Here is when the path of least resistance comes into play: people (read: you, me, your colleague) are going to search for the easiest way to do their job, that is the one requiring the least effort. It might be something that requires the least time, or maybe the least communication.

The result is that, very often, change is difficult to accomplish company-wide, because doing “what we have always done” is far easier than learning the new way. Above certain scales, something like a dozen individuals, the smaller the change, the higher the chances that it will fall on deaf ears. Yes, it sounds counter-intuitive, but groundbreaking changes are far easier to implement than small tweaks.